Tag Archives: skype

Free WiFi with Skype Access this Weekend

Skype Access lets anyone pay for WiFi access per minute using Skype Credit, so that they can surf the web, email and make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls in a massive network of WiFi hotspots including cafés, hotels and airports worldwide.

This weekend, however, you can use Skype Access for absolutely no cost! Beginning at 00:00 GMT on Saturday, March 20th up until 23:59 GMT on Sunday, March 21st, Skype Access will be completely free to use from anywhere in the world. If you’re here on the west coast of the US like I am, that would be 5PM tonight (Friday, March 19th) until 4:59PM on Sunday, March 21st. If you’re in a different time zone, there are calculators online that can help you make the adjustments.

All you need to get started is a connection to a Skype Access Hotspot, and the latest version of Skype (Windows 4.2 or Mac 2.8).

Additionally, due to the industrial action by British Airways cabin crews, the time-frame for this promotion will be extended by 24 hours in the UK. This is to ensure that travelers who may be stuck in a British airport can still work and stay connected with their friends and family.

Skype has long been an excellent way to keep in touch. By using Skype Access to access wireless Internet, they’ve raised the bar even higher.

Are you a Skype user? If so, you’re among millions of others who have realized what a fantastic, easy and cheap way this is to keep in touch with friends, family and business connections. Being able to reach out to anyone in the world is something we all tend to take for granted. However, think back just a few years… we weren’t able to DO this. Technologies have advanced so much in such a short time. It’s absolutely cool to watch as it happens, isn’t it?

HD Web Camera Wants to be Yours


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While covering the CES conference for us recently, Traci was astounded by the new Facevision TouchCam N1. It’s an HD video cam with an embedded H.264 codec chip, and dual microphones! This allows for crystal-clear HD video and superior audio at the same time. This little gadget is the first Skype certified video camera, and works perfectly for all of your video-conferencing needs.

The folks at Facevision believe they have developed the next generation in webcams with this TouchCam N1. It’s a natural extension to video camera users. It’s plug-and-play via USB, so it works on any operating system. This is not only the World’s first Skype certified webcam, it’s also the first HD webcam! It renders in true 720p!

Over the years, Skype has evolved into one of the premier ways to keep in touch with business contacts, family and friends. By using the Facevision TouchCam, Skype users can enjoy HD-quality video conferencing. The picture is so true-to-life that it will almost seem as though you can reach right through your screen and touch the other person!

The camera will be available in early March, 2010, and should have a retail price of around $119.00 USD.

Thanks to Creative for sending Traci the Vado 3 to use during CES!

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Have You Met Your Online Friends in Person?

I meet up with many people on a regular basis, thanks to things like Tweetups and conferences. Not everyone is so lucky, though. Often, deep and lasting friendships are formed online, but the people involved never have a chance to meet face-to-face. Many people maintain that it’s easier to make a strong connection with someone online, since you don’t have the fears and anxieties associated with how you look, or how you come across in person. Also, people tend to be more open about themselves when they are behind a computer screen, instead of hiding who they really are – and what they really think.

Have you ever met any of your online friends? How did it go? Was the friendship and connection as strong in person as it was while you were on the Internet? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this. I know that we have community members who met online, and later ended up engaged or married. I’m interested in seeing how many real friendships have sprung up, as well!

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How to Take Live Skype Calls


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Oliver has sent in this screencast, to help you out with your video and call quality while streaming. Many people use Skype to bring people in during their live streaming session, but the quality often drops significantly. It is possible to have the call (and the overall stream) maintain the crisp, clean quality that you are striving for. Oliver is going to show you how to accomplish this.

The best way to accomplish this is to use a powerful program called Audio Hijack Pro. This is a paid program, but the free version works for audio hijacks up to ten minutes. You’ll also need Soundflower. Have both of these programs, along with Skype, open before you begin.

First you’ll want to go in to Audio Hijack Pro. Click into the Skype pane on the left. Right click on Skype, and then mouse over “4 FX Effect” and then click on “Auxiliary Device Output”. This allows you to route the audio from Skype through Audio Hijack Pro, and in to Soundflower. When the window pops up after choosing the Auxiliary Device Output, choose Soundflower (2ch) from the dropdown menu. You don’t even need Soundflower open in order to do this.

Click the “Hijack” button at the top left of the screen, and then choose the “Quit and Relaunch” option from the menu. Once you open your Ustream show, you’re nearly ready to make your call! At the bottom of the Ustream window, you’ll see a dropdown box for “Audio Source”. Make sure you select “Soundflower (2ch)” here.

After you make this change, you won’t hear your own voice through your stream. You won’t hear it again until you take a Skype call. Oliver chose to call a Skype Test Call, which I recommend you do prior to your show going live.This will ensure that all of your settings are correct.

Audio Hijack Pro and Soundflower work together to grab both your voice and your callers’ voice, and throw them through your stream together. This way, you have a high-quality broadcast during the calls.

Thanks, Oliver, for an excellent tutorial and screencast!

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Skype Phone Without PC


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There are hundreds – if not thousands – of services that allow you to chat in real time. The one that tends to rule the roost is Skype. Nearly everyone seems to have a Skype account these days. Let’s say you have a Skype account, but you’re traveling. Yet, you still want to get ahold of your contacts without having to pay a lot of money to do so. What you need is a device that allows you to access your Skype account over Wi-Fi, instead of using a computer!

The IPEVO Wi-Fi Phone for Skype is exactly what you’re looking for. No computer is required: the Skype phone operates via any Wi-Fi connection. This gives you the chance to make Skype calls from your account every time you connect to a secure – or open – wireless network.

The Skype Phone includes all the same features that Skype itself does: locate your contacts, make calls and even review your call history… right from the handset. This thing puts the power of Skype in the palm of your hand… using a device as simple to use as your cell phone is.

You know you may need to contact people on your Skype list while you’re traveling or away from your computer. Don’t use your cell and rack up a huge bill. Just use the Skype Phone. Make your life a little easier.

[awsbullet:skype phone]

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What’s Better than Ventrilo for Voice Chat?


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I used to rely on Ventrilo to communicate with the moderators from WyldRyde who help keep control in my chat room. It was kind of difficult to use, so we eventually just stopped connecting. However, I’ve found something much better that we can try!

Voxli is a free voice chat that anyone can use – anywhere, anytime! It’s great to use when gaming, as you can have up to 200 people at any one time chatting! Voxli runs right from within your browser (although it works best in Firefox, it works in any!) and you can enable push-to-talk so you aren’t taken away from your game.

Set up your Voxli chat and send the unique URL to up to 199 other people. It really is that easy. There’s nothing to download, and it works on both OS X and Windows!

Voxli allows you to add and change an avatar, or simply listen in on conversations other people are having! Once you install the plugin for Firefox, you don’t have to even ever sign in again!

Come on – you don’t need to keep downloading and connecting to programs like Ventrilo, Teamspeak or Skype. Those can all be resource hogs, and have problems and bugs all their own. Check out Voxli and you won’t be sorry!

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TeamSpeak vs Ventrilo vs Mumble Audio for Gamers


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Voice over IP (or VoIP) is just not going to go away, despite what Wicket wants. It’s not just here for awhile, it’s definitely going to be around. You may have used Skype, or Vonage before to talk to someone. If you have, then you’ve used VoIP. But if you need to talk to several people at once, these are not good choices. What do you use in situations like these?

Some of you use Teamspeak or Ventrilo, and those are both good options. The Mods and I use Ventrilo here on the live stream at times to talk to each other, have conferences, or even let them talk to all of you. Once our Ventrilo license expires, we may just start using this new open source program: Mumble.

Mumble is an open source, low-latency, high quality voice chat software primarily intended for use while gaming. Even though it says it’s “intended” for gaming, it can be used by anyone. It won’t suck up your bandwidth like Skype will. There isn’t much of an interface to Mumble, but it IS clean. And – it’s seriously configurable! Being open source… it’s free to use.

If you’ve used anything else for this type of communication, consider Mumble. It is mature enough to use, and I definitely recommend it.

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Skype on the iPhone / iPod Touch

This morning, CNET reported that Skype is officially coming to the iPhone in a few days. I’m impressed, but not really thrilled. I usually keep Skype open on my desktop, but prefer to use it for video calls only – which you won’t be able to do on the iPhone, so… whatever. On the other hand, if you’re an iPod Touch user, this is HUGE news.

I asked for your opinions on Twitter a few minutes ago…

chrispirillo: Skype is coming to the iPhone. Is this big news or a big snooze?

about an hour ago

joshcheney: i think BiG news! lol

about an hour ago

MetalHaze: Remember, #Skype only works on 3G #iPhones .

about an hour ago

susanbeebe: Skype VoIP is big news – free calls over 3G, WiFi is cool ! 🙂

about an hour ago

ChickenStudios: Hmm a bit of both, could be useful could just be more clutter for the app store

about an hour ago

INFECTEDPB503: feel asleep at skype…

about an hour ago

DaddyCast: with video would be big

about an hour ago

apabate: travel internationally then ask that question again. Skype is your best friend overseas. Skype on iPhone – FTW all the way!!!

about an hour ago

topicm: it&#39s cool, but would be better if iPhone did video and allowed Skype to use 3G as well (in addition to Wi-Fi)

about an hour ago

michaelg: Skype on iPhone will be very convenient for international travel

about an hour ago

TechFrog: SInce it will only really work during WiFi connection, its moderately #SnoozeNews

about an hour ago

ludovicah: its not news certainly.. people have been bleating about it since yesterday

about an hour ago

geekgiant: Since it&#39s WiFi only, it&#39s kind of a snooze. Will be nice to have native though.

about an hour ago

crackass: big snooze as i don&#39t use Skype and i don&#39t know anyone who does, bar internetz people who i don&#39t speak to!

about an hour ago

RamonNuez: Albeit very cool and don&#39t think it&#39s big news. If you use the fring app then you already have skype.

about an hour ago

BayouBengal56: Skype = snooze for iPhone but win for iPod touch.

about an hour ago

AwesomeRobot: a big snooze for me

about an hour ago

SamBSJA: big snooze!

about an hour ago

EMcCready: as it only works on wifi and I only get it @ home its pretty much snooze, as I could use my house if I wanted to call someone

about an hour ago

JMGubbins: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

about an hour ago

chrisspera: RE: Skype on the iPhone: Snooze. Skype on the iPod Touch: News!

about an hour ago

annimetti: If it works with skype international calling, which I presume is the news, then it&#39s pretty big news. No?

about an hour ago

AngryChad: @chrispirillo: Neither. It&#39s medium level news.

about an hour ago

Fee501st: Wake me when you can use it on edge/3G

about an hour ago

Neonez: big news!

about an hour ago

richgilberto: It&#39s big news if the iPod touch gets a standard earpiece/mic config attachment.

about an hour ago

tommycarlier: As long as the Belgian mobile market is what it is, I&#39m not using a lot of mobile online applications on my WinMobile device.

about an hour ago

TheRubberband: It would be awesome news if all iPhone users got on board.

about an hour ago

jaredatch: about damn time, but still big news!

about an hour ago

TheBorzoi: There were already a few Skype apps for iPhone. I know quite a few people that have been using them.

about an hour ago

tomacintosh: an absolute snooze to me

about an hour ago

martinjon: International calls on every iPhone – thats news I think – I&#39ve used a MYLO for years for that sort of access = NEWS

about an hour ago

muppetaphrodite: If Skype were coming to the iPod Touch, that&#39d be a big deal. But we iPhone users are stuck with too many minutes anyway.

about an hour ago

atothebed: This is very exciting! I would potentially use Skype on my iPhone …but I&#39d rather have MSN make an official app first!

about an hour ago

tpbtpb: medium news, if it works.

about an hour ago

AndersHa: for me: big news. Skype is the future!

about an hour ago

harrysaxon23: Snooze, at least up in Vancouver, since voice chat only works over wi-fi, which is generally hard to find outside your home.

about an hour ago

thekiwiguy: snooze..Fringe client has been around 4 a while,and its “good”. without a front cam, & videocam iphone is crippled for this..

about an hour ago

victoria0918: Big news is when the iPhone is sold unlocked for user option on which provider to use.

about an hour ago

RandyNieland: Huge news! Skype is the first crack in the AT&T exclusivity armor, as far as placing “calls” from the iPhone (and iPod Touch)

about an hour ago

kpslover007: I hear it is controversial. I think that it will be a good move.

about an hour ago

marcoscmartins: like Fring, I think is the same old history… wasn&#39t enough. If voice signal still clear, should be nice, but I doubt.

about an hour ago

tristanlueking: Big news! been waiting for it for awhile. The question is, will it measure up to expectations?

about an hour ago

laurentmeyvaert: I think it&#39s big news. I&#39ve been waiting for it since the start of the App Store. I prefer the real thing 🙂

about an hour ago

JustinCarmony: Depends on if and how easy I can make Skype calls with it.

about an hour ago

bdegrande: Skype is really big news for those of us with an iPod Touch. Not the first VOIP app, but I hope it&#39s the best.

about an hour ago

Condawg: Big news, in my opinion. Especially if it&#39s for the Touch, too. Cheaper calls. Much cheaper calls. Hell yeah.

about an hour ago

Mpieters: big news…but only useful post iphone 3.0 – my writeup at http://www.mpieters.com

about an hour ago

Kennethturner: big news to the people who goes over their minutes and make international calls

about an hour ago

tgarlanger: I&#39m wondering how great Skype is going to be on the iPhone as well.

about an hour ago

tialoc: would be nice to have access to skype contacts. May use at hotspots but otherwise.. Zzzzz. ..

about an hour ago

notsleepy: big news to me. Avoid huge bills when travelling overseas

about an hour ago

lmdupont: it would be big news if it worked on g3 but it requires wifi

about an hour ago

GourleyGirl: tiny little screen, fuzzy connection..hmmm..sounds frustrating. But being able to see your people from anywhere, I like that.

about an hour ago

steveofmaine: Well, it&#39s bigger news than cut and paste IMO.

about 58 minutes ago

davepope: The big news would be that that means it&#39s coming to the iPod Touch as well…

about 57 minutes ago

zargam: nothing shocking to me..lol

about 56 minutes ago

patrickem: Skype to iPhone = snooze

about 55 minutes ago

kevinkinnett: it is the eventual future of voice communication (just another type of data service) this is one important step along the way

about 51 minutes ago

foleymo: Hey Chris, Have you heard about this? http://bit.ly/NjTm

about 44 minutes ago

BuayaGuy: what if Skype + iPhone = call online around the world for free or low cost?

about 44 minutes ago

iPhoneFTW: CHRIS UR AWESOME and hilarious watched u when u used to b on tv and still watch u now i also sub, macs are awesome eh?

about 44 minutes ago

iPhoneFTW: hey chris what do u think of the new iPhone OS 3.0 i think its awesome CUT COPY PASTE!!!

about 42 minutes ago

Crinklex2: Truphone and Fring already have Skype built in correct? Plus new Skype app can only be used via WiFi. I say big snooze.

about 38 minutes ago

iPhoneFTW: i think its gonna be an interesting app

about 37 minutes ago

joeyv: – depends on how well their app works, I am impressed with the latest update, on windows atleast.

about 37 minutes ago

Crinklex2: Of course that won&#39t stop me from downloading the Skype app and trying it out. You know, the tech geek thing in me and all…

about 36 minutes ago

TimBrazer: skype for iPhone? Big Snooze! Fring is available too…

about 34 minutes ago

stemount: Skype on the iPhone is ok but Fring already does it, but I would think it would be better UI but still only wi-fi calls 🙁

about 33 minutes ago

unclelouie9841: I think it is a bigger deal for people with iPod Touches than for iPhone users.

about 33 minutes ago

melanieruth78: if it&#39s still free, then it&#39s big. Otherwise it&#39s not.

about 32 minutes ago

How to Fax over VoIP on the Internet

Brightstar wrote: “I keep hearing about how hard it is for faxes to work through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). I’ve prepared a top five list of things you can do to make sure your faxes have the best chance of going through.”

  • Set your baud rate to 9600 and turn off Error Correction Mode. The slower your fax goes, the more likely it is to go through without errors. Most VoIP providers are unable to support the default baud of 33600 baud due to the amount of data that has to go through. Error Correction Mode was designed for faxing PSTN to PSTN. Voice over IP often has extra noise added due to jitter instabilities in the connection as it travels from one fax to another. This causes false positives for Error Correction Mode because it will cause the fax to loop over and over trying to fix these noise errors, when it can’t be fixed. This will end in a communication error usually.
  • Use a provider that supports T.38 – T.38 is an audio codec designed for faxing over VoIP. it allows for more detail and better looking images as well as stability by creating redundancy in the RTP stream.
  • Set your packetization to 10 milliseconds or less. The more header there is in the stream, the less likely jitter and instabilities in your internet connection are going to cause a synchronization error. (You may need to contact your provider to make this happen if your box is locked, such as if you use Vonage.)
  • Keep on top of your ISP. Stability in your Internet connection are paramount in making sure that faxes are successful. Speed tests can help you track this. Look for an advanced speed test that offers more than just and upload and download speed. A personal favorite of mine is located at MyVoipSpeed (Note: An up to date Java version is required) which is really nice because once you’re done, you can click on the detailed analysis link and then call up your ISP and give them the URL for the test so they can see what’s going on.
  • When all else fails, call your VoIP provider. There may be issues in the routing of your calls that are causing problems. Only your VoIP provider’s call processing team will be able to fix this kind of thing. Have your provider test from a PSTN line and then their own VoIP line. If they can send through PSTN but not their own VoIP line, it’s a routing issue on their own end.
  • Bonus Tip! Don’t even think about faxing using Voice over IP on a satellite or wireless connection. These kinds of connections are too unpredictable, and add a huge amount of latency that will make it impossible for fax machines to sync up properly.

VoIP Tips Skype, Phones, Gizmo, and Ventrilo

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I don’t use traditional means of communication anymore. I tend to use VoIP more than anything. I have Ventrilo open pretty much constantly, to communicate easily with my friends and co-workers. I also just installed it on Ponzi’s computer, so we can use it as an on-demand intercom. Today, I decided to give the Gizmo Project a try, as well.

Gizmo is a free phone for your computer that lets you make and receive calls as easily as sending an instant message. The key features are:

  • Unlimited free calling
  • FREE calling to landline and mobile phones using the All Calls FREE plan.
  • Chat with Windows Live Messenger, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, GoogleTalk, and Gizmo users.
  • Free voicemail

For about $35.00 a year, you can receive unlimited Call In. This allows anyone to call you from anywhere. You will be assigned an actual phone number, and will have call transfer, dual ring and even call forwarding capabilities!

It’s so easy to use. I demonstrated by calling my new Gizmo number from my iPhone. I then walked into another room and talked into the phone, while you all could hear it coming through the computer. Very cool, very easy… very affordable!

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